You know how in movies, they show that there is one person the villain or the vamp, who is outright bad, pure evil, that needs to be eliminated for good to prevail. But in reality, we all know that isn’t the case, there are always shades of grey and not everything is pure black or white. Similarly, when it comes down to our bodies the trend is to blame it all on the fat, your looks, your heart woes, mental pressure, whatnot. And ideally, the suggestion is to just leave the fat behind. However, the truth is far from it.
Fat is an essential building block of our bodies, if we didn’t really need it then it would never have been a part of our anatomies. Just think about it for a minute, do our bodies have anything in them without a role to play. Fat is an energy source, needed to build our cell membranes, protect our organs, required for the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, essential for brain development, all in all, it aids many basic but vital functions. So why will you eliminate something crucial? Because for too long we have been told fat is bad. But like I said there are shades of grey to everything. Not every fat is bad. Fat too has its variations, so you have the good fats – Unsaturated fats, and the bad fat – Saturated fats and Trans Fat.
As we all studied fats are made up of carbon atoms bonded with hydrogen atoms. The lesser hydrogen atoms in the structure mean they are unsaturated fats which will stay liquid at room temperature. The saturated fats have more hydrogen-bonded with the carbon and this generally gives rise to the bad cholesterol level (LDL) and all the accompanying problems.
Seeing how fat is required by our bodies, what we need to learn is to distinguish which fats to consume, which to avoid and which needs to be limited. Let the bifurcation begin:
1: Trans Fats: This is the worst kind that needs to be avoided completely. These are basically the man-made fat made from the process of hydrogenation, which means the addition of hydrogen to increase the shelf life, and decrease your life. Mostly banned now, but read the label on processed items.
2. Saturated Fats: Now these guys here are the ok kind as long as they are limited to no more than 10% of your total calorie intake. Any more of them and it will imbalance the LDL and HDL cholesterol level in the body leading to all sorts of woes and inflammation in the body which is just a sign of unhealthy. It is found in animal fat, cheese, whole-dairy milk & products, coconut-oil.
3. Unsaturated Fats: Now these are the champions of fats the good guys, and there are two types Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids). These are the fats that should make up for most of your fat intake in the whole calories count equation. They amp-up the HDL level, reduce the effects of LDL and provide the best fuel for your cells to operate. These can be found in Olive Oil, Safflower Oil, Sunflower Oil, Avocadoes, Nuts & Seeds, Seafood (Mackerel, Sardines, Salmon), Flax seeds, even seaweed.
A low-fat diet usually ends up being a more carb diet. Which surprisingly isn’t healthy but unhealthier. So, you see fat isn’t the devil it’s made out to be. And you the hero/heroine should know that in order to triumph.